In light of recent policy developments in Scotland with a focus on strengthening participation and community engagement, the Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) and What Works Scotland are currently working with the Scottish Government to review the National Standards for Community Engagement.
The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 17 June. Once the Bill comes into force, public bodies will have to meet new duties on how they support the participation of communities in the preparation and delivery of local outcome improvement plans. The guidance accompanying the Bill will refer public bodies and others to the use of the National Standards for Community Engagement (revised and possibly renamed) as a framework to support an effective community engagement process.
Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment Marco Biagi said:
“This important piece of work will give Scottish communities an early opportunity to engage and participate in the implementation of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill.
“Launched a decade ago, the National Standards for Community Engagement still plays a crucial role in helping public authorities work more efficiently and effectively with communities across Scotland to take part in activities, plans and service delivery in their local area.
“This review process will strengthen the standards and show communities how they can address inequalities if they have more powers and confidence to shape their own futures.”
SCDC and What Works Scotland are using a variety of methods to involve as many people with an interest in community engagement as possible in the review process. Community Planning Partnerships, VOiCE (Visioning Outcomes in Community Engagement) users and Community Learning and Development Lead Officers are currently being surveyed and a National Standards for Community Engagement Reunion will be held in August this year.
Alongside the survey and the reunion there will be a series of focus groups, and a number of test sites for early revisions will be established before moving into a second national consultative phase. More information about the events will be made available over the coming weeks.
If you are involved in community engagement activity in any capacity, community member or paid worker, and would like to participate in any of the above review processes, please email Andrew Paterson firstname.lastname@example.org to let him know your contact details and to express your preference for involvement.
Download the pdf version of this news release here.